2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks
November 21, 2011
Kansas City at New England
Monday 11/21 08:35 PM Eastern
3 units on New England PICK () (risk 3 to return 3) RESULT: WIN
The New England Patriots rose to the occasion last Sunday Night, ending a two-game losing streak (a rarity for the Pats). Tonight they take on a reeling Kansas City team - a team that was in the playoffs a year ago. But, the reality is they weren't all that good last year and benefitted from a soft schedule. This year things have gotten worse. They have already lost their Pro Bowl safety and top running back for the season, and now Matt Cassel is gone for the year as well. This comes on top of losing an excellent NFL offensive coordinator, Charlie Weis, in the offsense. Now a struggling offense must rely on a rookie in Tyler Palko making his first start. The Chiefs’ offensive line allowed 12 sacks in the last three games and you can be sure the Pats are going to put some heat on him, as they have really patched a lot of holes on the defensive side. The Chiefs’ bigger problem however, will be their defense facing the master Tom Brady. The Pats have too many weapons and are too explosive (29 points per game) for the Chiefs to hang around in this one. Kansas City was averaging just 15.7 per game with Cassel under center. The Chiefs had a nice 4-game winning streak this season, but it came against teams with a combined 12-30 record so it's not that impressive afterall. And, in their other games, they lost ugly including three losses by 28+ points. The concern here of course is the huge spread. When you have lines this big in the NFL, you always have to guard against letdowns. I don't see that happening tonight for a lot of reasons. In the Brady/Belichick era, the Patriots have been like a hungry animal vs. a wounded prey when facing teams coming off consecutive losses, going 27-8 ATS in their last 35, so they don't mail in these games. A letdown is improbable thanks to the Monday Night lights. Big favorites don't do well in the NFL generally, but on Monday night, big favorites of -8.5 or larger have hit 63% ATS since 1989. Finally, the fact the Pats are 1-2 in their last three will ensure they put this one away early and don't let up. New England should win by plenty in this one.